Eurobites: Telcos still not happy about being US tech giants' beasts of burden

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom tests hybrid 5G; Telefónica chosen by SMCP for SD-WAN and more; A1 Telekom Austria and the BBC snuggle up.

  • In what has the feeling of déjà vu all over again, the heavy-hitters of European telecom – Deutsche Telekom, BT, Vodafone and Orange among them – have issued a joint statement demanding that US tech giants be made to bear some of the costs of network development because they use said networks so extensively to make their gazillions of dollars of profits. As Reuters reports, the statement named no names, but the likes of Netflix, Google and Facebook are undoubtedly who the disgruntled telecom CEOs had in mind. The current state of affairs, say the bigwigs, "can only be sustainable if such big tech platforms also contribute fairly to network costs." The CEOs also pointed the finger at the high cost of spectrum auctions, adds the report, complaining that such auctions served to artificially push "unsustainable" new entrants into the market.

  • Deutsche Telekom is launching a field test for "hybrid 5G," whereby 5G will be available free of charge as an add-on option to existing fixed network rates. The test, which will be carried out by 800 lucky households through until August 2022, will be based on a Speedport Smart 4 WLAN router, which becomes hybrid-capable in combination with a weatherproof 5G receiver.

  • In a separate announcement, the German incumbent says it has become an Amazon Web Services "Premier Consulting Partner," which, in AWS cloud terms, means it's the bee's knees, apparently. To qualify for this accolade, companies must have a proven track record of consulting and supporting the development, architecture, build, migration and operation of their applications on AWS.

  • Fashion firm SMCP has chosen Telefónica to modernize its European network with the deployment of a "full IP" infrastructure. The upgrade should improve SMCP's WAN and voice services in its 900 shops across 14 European countries.

  • Sweden's Agama Technologies has teamed up with Antecna to put in place video monitoring and analysis software for Bosnian operator M:tel. The software will keep an eye on both live TV channels and video-on-demand streams. Dashboards will be involved.

  • Kenyan radio station NRG has launched BeMobile, a new MVNO aimed at the youth market. Underpinned by X-Mobility's AppVNO platform, BeMobile offers international numbers (UK, US and Canada) on customers' existing handsets and free peer-to-peer calls, among other things.

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group has widened the scope its cooperation agreement with the BBC, extending distribution deals for the existing BBC Earth and BBC First channels on the A1 pay-TV platforms until 2025 and establishing a partnership that will see A1's broadcasting division providing technical satellite services for the BBC in the central European region.

  • Africa Data Centres has opened a new 10-megawatt facility in Lagos, Nigeria, which the company says will pave the way for "hyperscale" customers to roll out digitization offerings in the region. The new data center is the first of four being planned for Nigeria.

  • Polish mobile operator Play has turned to Allot, the Israel-based software company, to enhance the cybersecurity of its more than 15 million customers. Two Allot products will be used: Allot Secure and NetworkSecure.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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